WEDDING CEREMONY BACKDROPS: Arbors & Arches

You found the one who gives you all the feels, and you’re ready to tell the world. So why not frame your “I do’s” with the wedding arch of your dreams. Your very own personalized wedding arbor can serve as the visual focal point of your entire ceremony, provide a gorgeous backdrop for your exchange of vows or bring a playful feel to your celebration.

Arbors and arches are super DIY projects… just purchase a base (like one of these beautiful & affordable options available on wayfair.com) and adorn it with anything your heart desires, from lush floral elements to twinkly string lighting or even decorate it with some geometric shapes. Not up for the project? Simply enlist the aid of a professional florist or event rental company. Either way, a specially decorated arbor or arch will provide the perfect backdrop to exchange your vows under. If you make your own, though, you can permanently install it in your backyard as a romantic reminder of your day.

Your wedding ceremony backdrop style can range from whimsical to modern. Consider the season, location and theme of your wedding to design the right look for your special day. We found several gorgeous wedding arch ideas from Wayfair, which we’ve shown below to help inspire you. Whichever style trellis you choose, let it reflect your personality as a couple and the feeling you want to evoke on your special day.

Boho

Bohemian backdrops are perfect for wild-hearted, free-spirited couples looking for something different. Embellish a geometric teepee or adorn an arch with macrame and greenery to create a chic, minimal look.

Tropical

Transport your guests to white sands and crystal clear waters with a tropical-inspired backdrop. Think palm fronds and relaxed breezy decor. Incorporate a whitewashed arch, textured macrame, and bright blooms. Tuck in a few Monstera leaves for the ultimate beachy feel.

 Classic

Both timeless and elegant, a classic wedding arch never goes out of style. Exchange your vows under an airy, ornate arch with billowing curtains and white or pastel florals.

 Whimsical

For fanciful couples wanting a whimsical touch at their wedding, these over the top botanical arbors deliver major style. Cascading floral arrangements, floating candles or hanging chandeliers will capture this playful look.

Rustic

For all the rustic-industrial loving couples, a raw metal arch will complement your vibe. Pair it with earthy succulents, florals, and moss.

Natural

The couple who lives by all things organic can celebrate the breathtaking beauty of nature with a greenery embellished wedding arch. Hanging mason jars, muted tones and earthy eucalyptus can elevate the look.

 Bold

Bold and colorful backdrops are perfectly suited for light-hearted couples who love to have fun. Garlands of bright florals or lavish streamers in a rainbow of colors add just the right dose of joy to a wedding arch.

Fairytale

Create your own fairytale ending with a dreamy wedding arch. Delicate details, soft lighting and barely there florals will create an ambiance you and your guests will never forget.

 

 Whatever wedding vibe you’re going for, you can definitely showcase your style with a personalized wedding day arbor.

REAL WEDDING: Will and Hannah’s Sweet & Southern Mansion Wedding

We fell head over heels with this sweet couple and their gorgeously southern wedding, so perfectly captured by Edwards Photography!

We were lucky enough to meet Hannah, this sweet southern bride, when she visited us at The Gilded Gown to search for her wedding dress last year. She wanted a romantic, lace, full-length gown for her upcoming spring wedding. Luckily, that day, with the help of her personal bridal stylist, Hannah was able to find exactly what her heart desired. The bridal design house of Romantic Bridals (fittingly named!), created the dress that fulfilled all her dreams. She also selected a gorgeous single layer lace-edged veil which was the perfect addition to her wedding day ensemble.

Hannah and Will were married on a delightful spring afternoon this past May at Karlan Mansion, a gorgeous antebellum estate located at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia. This historic mansion is beautifully placed in the heart of Appalachia, at the base of the Cumberland Mountains and is surrounded by both history and scenic mountain views. The perfect spot for a southern wedding! Edwards Photography was on hand to capture all the beauty and romance.

Hannah and Will have a heartwarming love story: “We met August 2, 2014 at my best friend and Maid of honor, Jaci’s, wedding. We quickly became best friends and we started “officially” dating October 25, 2015. He proposed to me on February 1, 2017 at The Island in Pigeon Forge in front of the water fountain. He had faked proposed to me so many times I didn’t believe that he was actually proposing to me until I saw the ring. I told him “No!” about four times. followed by “Really?” which resulted in a very ecstatic “YES!” It couldn’t have been a more perfect day. Even though it was February it was 75 degrees out and the sunset was perfect! It was a day I will never forget and always cherish!”–Hannah

They chose each other. xo

The love and devotion of this sweet couple is evident in every moment captured at their wedding.

We are absolutely obsessed with the lush florals and greenery by Judy’s Flowers and Gifts  that decorated the day. From the bouquets, to the decor, to the cake and Hannah’s amazing headpiece. All so gorgeous! Like, these giant hoops:

The lovely cake topper:

And, this spectacular bouquet!!!!!

And, the bridal headpiece, which is everything:

We are pretty certain that this wedding had the most precious flower girl in history, too:

Hannah and Will’s wedding party looked awesome as well. The maids shined in their gowns by ColsBM:

And the guys looked adorable in their suits (and bow ties) by Belk:

The wedding had so many sweet southern touches. Like the coke favors! After all, what is more southern than an ice cold coke, in a glass bottle on a warm spring day?

Hannah and Will your special day was amazing! We wish you the brightest, happiest future as Mr. and Mrs. as you walk towards the future!

Venue: Karlan Mansion at Wilderness Road State Park

Dress: by Romantic Bridals from The Gilded Gown

Photography: Edwards Photography

Flowers: by Judy’s Flowers and Gifts

Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Belk

Bridesmaids Dresses: ColsBM

Hair: Natasha Hunley

Makeup: Hannah Thomas, the Bride

 

Grooming the Groom. 8 Easy Steps to Look Great At The Wedding

For guys who want to look as good as they can on wedding day, we’ve compiled an easy guide for getting gorgeous. We were inspired by Harry’s, a cool company that provides thoughtful and affordable grooming essentials for men. Follow our eight simple steps and you’ll show up looking fresh, rested, happy and handsome for the best day ever.

1. Start Shaving Like A Pro

The first step on your grooming journey is to make your everyday shave count by using a system that gets you a close, comfortable shave. Harry’s Truman Set, $15, offers everything you’ll need to get your shave game in tip-top form. A weighted handle with rubber grip. Three German-engineered blade cartridges, each with a flex hinge and lubricating strip. Foaming Shave Gel for a rich lather, and a handy travel cover to protect your blades when you’re on the move. Implement this system now and you will be ready to receive all those kisses on wedding day.

2. Baby Your Face With A Skin-Care System

Nothing is more important than fresh, healthy skin when you want to look your best. A few months before the big day, consider scheduling a couple facials to make sure your face is baby soft, hydrated and clear. You’ll also want to start a skin care regime by using a cleanser and moisturizer morning and night. We suggest some uber-affordable, well-rounded shaving accessories to exfoliate, protect, and hydrate your skin.

3. Take The Time To Get Fit

Start fine-tuning your wedding bod by putting in some extra time at the gym. Grab a friend and play a quick pickup game. Bike, swim, or maybe go on a few hikes. Get yourself in fine form by doing whatever activities make you happiest. Clean up your diet a bit and drink more water. The healthier you are the better you look.

4. Pamper Yourself

 

Self-care includes a little pampering now and then. Spoil yourself with a relaxing massage or two. (Massages are great a relieving stress, lowering blood pressure and making you sleep better.) Meditate, hang with friends, soul search, skydive, binge on Netflix….practice your version of indulgence, whatever that may be, so that you feel well taken care of and fulfilled. Happy grooms look the best!

5. Tame Those Brows

Man-scaping is a good thing, especially when it comes to brows. No one wants to look at wedding pictures and focus on the groom’s crazy, unruly eyebrows. Make sure yours are on point with a quick visit to a brow studio about a week before your day. They can shape up your caterpillars in no time flat. A bit of minor tweaking can make sure your brows look natural, masculine and groomed.

6. Up Your Nail Game

Schedule a Couple Man – icures

You’re going to have lots of pics taken focusing on that new ring on your finger, so you’ll need to make sure your nails are clean, filed and groomed. And don’t worry, taking care of your nails isn’t just for the ladies. If it makes you feel better most professional athletes keep on top of their games by practicing good nail care. Heck, LeBron James gets a weekly mani-pedi. Adding this simple task to your grooming routine will not only help your hands look superior aesthetically, but it will also make them feel better. Plus, getting a manicure before the wedding will insure that you don’t have any hang nails and that your hands look amazing.

Oh, and you might as well get a Pedicure too

Image your feet soaking in a warm, swirling water while a chair simultaneously massages your back. Sound like a good idea? Welcome to the world of pedicures. Where all you have to do is sit there and enjoy your free beverage while someone else cuts your nails and cuticles. Go ahead and splurge on monthly professional pedicures. Your feet will look, feel (and smell) better. A pedicure will remove excess dead skin on the feet, reduce sore spots, and give you clean and beautiful toes.

7. Work on Your Smile

Visit the dentist and get a quick check up and thorough cleaning to make sure your smile will be beautiful at your wedding. Also, invest in a teeth whitening kit. Our fave? Crest White Strips. You’ll need to start using these about two weeks before the wedding. Slap those sticky strips on your teeth for thirty minutes every day (perhaps while you watch the game) and you will have noticeably whiter, brighter teeth by wedding day.

8. Handle the Hair

Style & Cut

Consult with your stylist and choose your hairstyle a few months before the wedding. (You don’t want to try a new style right before the wedding.) Get regular cuts to keep your hair game strong. Be sure to schedule an appointment the week before the wedding, too.

Get Good Product

Start using high quality hair products so that your hair will be the healthiest and handsome-ist possible. Your stylist can recommend the best options for your hair type.

Get your style business in order by implementing a superior shave plan & skin care routine, spend some time getting fit, wax the brows, whiten your teeth, find time to do “you,” take care of your nails, and get your hair styled. These steps will insure that you will look and feel your very best on your wedding day. Once you’ve started, you might as well continue following the checklist after you’re married to keep your future looking bright.

Wedding Inspo: Vintage Camper Weddings #caravanwedding #vwvanwedding

We’ve gone crazy for vintage campers, with their whimsy and awesome retro style. And, we’re pretty sure there is no better way to celebrate a summer wedding than to host it surrounded by the beautiful outdoors and a fabulous vintage trailer or two. They are adorable, provide the perfect backdrop for your event AND they can be used as drink stations, photo booths, dressing rooms or even as the honeymoon suite! Our rambling hearts first noticed the movement to restore vintage trailers on the tv show Flippin’ RVs on GAC, This show features co-hosts Anna and Justin Scribner and their RV restoration biz called Flyte Camp. Their craftsmanship in turning old and moldy trailers into art-on-wheels is simply spectacular. Regard this 1955 Spartan Manor 328, a vision of mid-century-ness:

Anything we find to be visually stunning has usually been found and appreciated by many others first. And, most times, whatever cool things we discover have also already been incorporated into the world of weddings. And, so we thought to ourselves, ‘let’s check Pinterest for vintage camper weddings.’ #Bingo

There are vintage campers and vans of every persuasion, color and style. And, lots of couples have been charmingly incorporating these beauties into their weddings. Take for instance, this fashionable English wedding. Their mode of transportation? A vintage pink van. So much to love here: hats on the ladies, pumps, midi dresses, and A PINK VW:

A bevy of bridesmaids in sweet floral robes congregate under the pinstriped pastel awning of this cutie:

Antique trailers make amazing food stations. They provide a visual feast for your loved ones before they even taste the food. Set the stage for happy guests with something like this crisp white trailer, the perfect place to serve your wedding sweets.

For your bar, consider the cool factor a portable caravan provides. Your guests will have a blast stepping up to a neat antique. A fun idea: feature an old-school cocktail or two from the era of the vintage camper. Tom Collins and Singapore Slings for all.

SideCar Cocktail Company brings their craft cocktail program to the weddings and events in the California area. Their signature drinks are served from Tinker Tin Trailer Co’s gorgeous, customized 1961 Shasta bar trailer:

Vintage campers offer such panache and joyfulness for everyone:

Vintage campers make perfect photo booths. We love the boho styling and bright turquoise color on this baby:

Having a barn wedding? Consider having a restored vintage horse trailer, like this one, for your photo booth:

Quick question: Is a vintage VW romantic? Normally we might not think so. But, now, well, yes, it sure is. Throw a gorgeous floral wreath on the front and grab your honey for a smooch and you’ve got yourself a swoon worthy photo op:

 

Actress Jenny Garth’s wedding (featured in People) showcased a couple of super-cute vintage pastel trailers, and, her floral wedding gown is EVERYTHING.

 

Want to add color and personality to your wedding? There are lots of restored camper rental agencies around the US and Canada. Some even have their own venues.

The most amazing of all, Tinker Tin Trailer Company, located on the Central Coast of California, offers nostalgic trailers for events all across the US. They also have a permanent site available, “The Trailer Pond”:

JuneBug Retro Resort in Asheville, North Carolina offers use of their ten restored campers for weddings held on their gorgeous property:

If you crave all that is nostalgic, fun and adventurous for your wedding, seek out a vintage camper or too. You’ll begin your  journey together with such happy memories.

Happy Trails!

 

DIY Drink Station: Mimosa Bar! Perfect for your wedding

Wondering what to serve your family and friends at your wedding reception? Consider a colorful and fun Mimosa Bar. After all, what drink signals a celebration more than champagne? This bubbly white wine is the ultimate go-to celebratory drink…a joyous elixir which can be deliciously paired with various fruit juices and pretty garnishes to create the ultimate wedding drink station! #Pop!

Allowing your loved ones to assemble and customize their own drink creations makes for a super fun party atmosphere. Plus, Mimosa Bars are not only visually appealing but they also are budget friendly as all those juice choices make the champagne go further. #yay

The talented folks at Zola (a site where you can manage your registry, wedding website, checklist, and guest list manager, all in one place…for free!) shared this awesome tutorial with us on how to set up your very own Mimosa Bar.

Our DIY mimosa bar is exactly what you need to take your reception drink station to the next level and create a fun experience for the entire party. Not only is our seven-step guide to making the perfect mimosa bar easy, but it lets guests join in on the fun and make their own drinks—leaving you to enjoy the party along with them.

We’ve created four drink recipes for you as well as a step-by-step guide to make the setting-up process run as smoothly as possible.

What You’ll Need:

In order to create the perfect mimosa bar, you’ll need a few key ingredients. Since one bottle of champagne is equivalent to around six to eight mimosas, keep your guest list in mind when shopping for your favorite bottles of bubbly. See our list below for the essentials you’ll need to make a mimosa bar that will impress your guests.

  • Champagne: The number of bottles will vary depending on the size of your party. Consider purchasing one bottle of champagne per four guests.
  • Juices: We used pomegranate, pineapple, grapefruit, and orange juice, but feel free to select juices based on your taste and color scheme.
  • Garnishes: We used pomegranate seeds, strawberries, pineapple wedges, edible flowers, and rosemary, but any fragrant herb or complementing fruit will work too.
  • Juice carafes: Put your juices on display in unique vessels for a clean look like juice carafes. We used 12 oz. carafes for each flavor of juice.
  • Champagne flutes: Can’t forget the most important part! Make sure you have enough champagne glassesavailable for everyone attending the party.
  • Sugar (optional): We created a sugaring station so guests have an option to add a sugar rim to their glass. In order to make the sugar stick, you will need to include a small bowl of lime juice or water.
  • Decorations: Some ideas include flowers, banners, straws, coasters, and flute charms.

How to Set Up a Mimosa Bar

Now it’s time for the fun part! Follow these seven steps to create the ultimate mimosa bar for your wedding reception. Feel free to add or skip any steps based on the supplies you can find and the number of guests at your party.

1. Make all items easily accessible

mimosa bar set up

Presentation is key and the same goes for your mimosa bar. In order to make sure guests can easily access all ingredients, set up your mimosa bar in order of sequence by starting with the champagne flutes and ending with garnishes, plates, and napkins. If you choose to add a sugaring station, make sure to have it at the beginning of the bar, since that’s one of the first steps when making a mimosa.

2. Create a backdrop

mimosa bar backdrop

Use your theme to get as creative as you can with this step. For our mimosa bar, we used a wooden “love sign” and assorted greenery. Make sure to your drink station decor compliments your wedding colors and vibe.

3. Decorate your bar or table

mimosa bar decor

Whether you will be placing your mimosa essentials on a bar or a table, make sure to add some fun decor to complement the setup. Some ideas include banners, appetizers, confetti, and straws. For our design, we included mini muffins and cinnamon buns as appetizers for guests to snack on, as well as fun straws meant to accessorize their mimosas. If you’re stuck on what to add to your bar decor, fresh flowers will help liven up the space and go great with your wedding design.

4. Pour juices into serving glasses and add labels

mimosa bar juices

Pour your juices into serving glasses and label them so guests know what they are. Make sure the design of your labels works with the rest of your bar decor. We used heart shaped labels to match our love sign and banner. We also put our juices in 12-oz. carafes with wooden corks to compliment the rest of the table set up. Pro tip: Use clear jars so that guests can easily differentiate between the juices.

5. Place chopped fruit and garnishes in serving dishes

mimosa bar garnishes

Depending on the type of mimosas you will be making, put your garnishes in serving dishes so guests can easily access them. Include a sign next to the garnishes so guests know exactly what to use them for. Adding garnishes to your mimosa is one of the best parts of the mimosa-making process, so get creative with the types of garnishes you include. If you’re stuck on what to add, edible flowers are always a great accessory! You can find these at you local farmer’s market or organic supermarket.

6. Include a sugaring station

mimosa bar sugaring station

This step is optional, but definitely a fun touch for your mimosa bar. This will allow guests to add sugar to the rim of their champagne glass, which will give their mimosa an extra kick of sweetness. For this, you will need a small bowl of lime juice (water or lemon juice will work as well) and a dish filled with sugar. Let your guests know that they should dip their champagne rims into the lime juice before applying sugar so that it will stick.

7. Keep champagne chilled

mimosa bar champagne bucket

One of the most important parts of your mimosa bar is the champagne, which should be kept chilled at all times. A bucket is ideal for this so that you can have multiple champagne bottles on the table at once. We decorated our bucket of bubbly with greenery and edible flowers to match the rest of the decor.

Making Your Mimosas

Making a mimosa can be done in four simple steps. We recommend a 1:1 ratio of champagne to juice. However, guests can serve themselves and make the mimosa according to their own preferences.

  1. Create a sugar rim.
  2. Pour the bubbly.
  3. Add your choice of juice.
  4. Top with a garnish.
  5. Enjoy!

Mimosa Bar Recipes

mimosa bar drinks

Below are recipes for each mimosa that we made for our mimosa bar. Depending on the number of guests and your budget for the celebration, feel free to include as many options as you like.

  • Pineapple mimosa: champagne, pineapple juice, pineapple slices, and edible flowers.
  • Grapefruit mimosa: champagne, grapefruit juice, and rosemary.
  • Classic mimosa: champagne, orange juice, and strawberries.
  • Pomegranate mimosa: champagne, pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, and edible flowers.

For an easy guide, download our infographic below to get started on making your own mimosa bar.


If you’re looking for more wedding planning tips, check out our wedding planning timeline and don’t forget to create your wedding registry at least eight months prior to your wedding day.

REAL WEDDING: Brittany & Randy. Love is Worth Waiting For!

All of us at The Gilded Gown were absolutely thrilled when Edwards Photography shared their breathtaking images with us of one of our brides’ weddings. We wanted to find out more, so we approached gorgeous bride Brittany to see if she would share details of her special day with us. We are so thankful we did because this is probably the most romantic thing we’ve ever heard…

This is an amazing love story that was ten years in the making. You see, for all those years Brittany and Randy were best friends. Brittany didn’t realize that early on in their friendship Randy had fallen in love with her. Because Randy kept his feelings quiet, content to be a supportive friend, just so he could be around her. His devotion brings to mind one of the most beautiful Bible passages: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Through the years Brittany met and married someone else, but her friendship with Randy continued. Randy patiently remained a faithful friend, never letting her know his feelings. Then Brittany went through a horrible divorce. Randy was there, by her side, the entire time. She says, “He was always trying to uplift me, cheer me up and over-all just take away the pain.” Randy was a true friend, who took her places, did silly things to make her laugh and let her vent about her problems. But Randy’s feelings were getting stronger, and after awhile he decided he had to let Brittany know just how much she meant to him.

One day as they were sharing a meal at Chili’s Randy professed his love. He told Brittany just how much he loved her and that he had been in love with her for all those years. He explained that he had respected her marriage, and her, too much to confess his true feelings. But now that she was free he wanted to date her. He took out a promise ring and said, “Let me make a promise to you that all men are not the same.”

From that moment on, Brittany knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with her best friend. As their new relationship began Randy proved his character by helping Brittany care for her grandfather with Alzheimer’s, and her grandmother! As time went along, she kept falling for him, watching how he would care so lovingly for her relatives. She knew he would do anything for her. And she loved how Randy could always make her laugh and smile. She knew that she wanted to, “snatch him up!”

A few months later the couple made a trip to Kingsport and visited Brittany’s favorite ring shop, Fred Meyers. Randy picked up two rings and asked her, “Which one do you like?” Brittany picked one, and Randy said, “Well, let’s get married!” He purchased the ring, and let Brittany wear it. (She was too excited to wait!) But, he wanted to make his formal proposal on a picturesque spot on a little white bridge with a creek underneath it. When he did, she said, “Yes!”

After that, the wedding planning was ON! The date was set for February. She knew she wanted a snowy, Christmas themed winter wedding and she had a blast collecting decor. She used tons of Christmas Trees and twinkle lights. They even got their hands on a snow machine!

Finding the perfect dress proved difficult at first because Brittany started her search for a dress online. She didn’t LOVE anything she saw, plus she was worried that she wouldn’t like it in person, she couldn’t determine the quality of the fabric through a computer screen, and there was a good possibility that anything she purchased online might not fit right. She was getting down and out about the dress search until one day she found out about The Gilded Gown. Brittany recalls, “It was breath taking! I walked in & fell in love!!! Everyone there was so, so, so nice! We started pulling dresses! I thought I was a princess and felt right at home!! I didn’t know what I wanted!! We tried on dress after dress, and I loved them all!!! Then as we thought we had picked one, my aunt went and looked one more time and she found “THE DRESS!” Everyone at the shop loved it!! I had that glow! It was perfect!!! It was over all so fun!! I thank you guys so much for helping me make my perfect day, even better!!!

We were thrilled when Brittany shared her wedding story with us. We hope this touches your hearts like it did all of ours. Brittany & Randy all our best to you. Your beautiful love story is an inspiration!

VENDORS

Photography: Edwards Photography

Dress: The Gilded Gown

 

The Royal Wedding Recap: The Dress, The Veil, The Tiara, The Second Dress #harryandmeghan

We’re pretty sure we know where you were last Saturday morning. If you are anything like us you were parked on the couch in front of your tv…anxiously awaiting THE DRESS while watching the royal wedding of the world’s most adorable couple Meghan Markle & Prince Harry. We know you’ve heard all about it, but we couldn’t resist a lil’ Royal Recap to relive the bridal style of it all. And the love. These two are obvi in LOVE. We admit, we cried. Sigh.

Acclaimed British designer Clare Waight Keller from the house of Givenchy designed the incredibly awe-inspiring beautiful double-bonded silk cady dress. Meghan wanted a dress that was both modern and timeless, and she nailed it. Featuring an open bateau neckline, slim three-quarter sleeves and a triple silk organza underskirt the gown is a study in understated elegance.  At first we were wondering if there was any kind of embellishment on the gown, hidden by the glorious veil. Some beading? Some lace? And we thought, “hmmmm? Do we like this uber understated gown?” After careful consideration our answer is HECK YEAH! For although the gown is breathtakingly simple with zero beading or embellishments, the attention to detail and the perfectly draped fabric relay luxuriousness only royals can afford. Plus she absolutely glowed with love, inner beauty and gorgeousness.

Harry rocked his Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform. Who loves a ginger? WE DO! And how freaking cute was his case of nerves? He may be a Prince, but that day (to quote one of our fave British RomComs Notting Hill), he was “just a boy standing in front of a girl, asking her to love him.” She replied, “YES!”

Train, train, train. Let’s talk about THE TRAIN. Sixteen feet of exquisite silk tulle, hand embroidered with 53 types of flora and fauna representing all the counties of the British Commonwealth. Such a thoughtful design and utterly, devastatingly beautiful. And long. The “monarch” length was a subtle nod to Princess Diana’s memorable wedding train.

Meghan also included two flowers personal to her heart in her veil design: Wintersweet, which grows in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy, the State flower of her birthplace. Plus crops of wheat are incorporated in the very front of the veil to symbolize love and charity. Who knew a veil could convey so much?

Tiara Time! Meghan’s statement headpiece, officially known as the “Filigree Tiara,” is a jeweled band originally belong to Queen Mary. The vintage tiara was loaned to Meghan by the Queen Elizabeth and considering the simplicity of the rest of her look added a major wow factor! We think her beautiful brown eyes sparkled even more than all those diamonds:

And, now, let’s discuss the SECOND DRESS. We live and breathe for it! Because fairy-tale weddings require multiple dream dresses. And, this sleek reception dress is the absolute epitome of glamour. Another dress of stunning simplicity, this one features a high halter neck in custom silk, designed by Stella McCartney. And it is everything. Effortless. Understated. Sexy. Gorgeous.

Meghan and Harry’s day was incredibly stylish and awe-inspiring. We loved every single element. But what shines through all the pomp and circumstance and all the incredible wedding designs is above everything else, love. The simple fact is that these are really just two people who are very happy and in very much in love. And that is our favorite part of this fairy tale wedding day.

 

Hotel Wedding: Beauty at the Baymont #PrettyinPink #EasyWeddingPlanning

If you are searching for an easy way to plan your wedding, consider hosting your special day at a hotel. You can take your walk down the aisle there, plus you can hold ALL your other wedding celebrations under one roof, too. Rehearsal dinner, reception, post-wedding brunch, and even your wedding suite are all at your finger tips. You and your guests won’t have any logistical worries once the wedding weekend arrives, all you’ll have to do is celebrate! And, if you are expecting lots of out-of-towners, using a hotel for your nuptials makes things super easy. Keeping all your wedding festivities in one location provides your guests with the convenience of not having to navigate an unfamiliar area. One great option for Knoxville Brides is Baymont Knoxville North I-75 . With 6000 square feet of event space, Baymont Knoxville North I-75 features three meeting rooms, which can be arranged to accommodate around 375 guests. They can also set you up poolside!! Plan your hotel wedding here for a convenient, affordable and stress-free event.

We were thrilled to partner with several awesome local wedding pros for a recent pink-themed styled shoot at The Baymont to demonstrate just how lovely a hotel wedding can be. And, our very own Grace modeled gorgeous looks from The Gilded Gown, including all the stunning bridal accessories.

Grace’s first look was this delicate, spaghetti strap beauty from designer Justin Alexander. The dress is a comfortable and stylish satin fit and flare gown:Crocheted lace appliqués adorn the hem and bodice of the gown, and dual spaghetti straps cascade to the unique back:

This silver and crystal hair vine adds the perfect finishing touch to long, loose curls:

Erin Brown of Benevolent Beauty expertly styled Grace with soft bridal makeup and natural hair:

Gage Talent provided the handsome groom, who looked so dapper in his black tux and adorable pink bow tie from Regal Tuxedo:

The fine folks at Regal Tuxedo are dedicated to perfectly dressing their wedding parties. They have been locally owned and operated in the Knoxville area for over 32 years. If you are looking to dress your guys for look no further: Regal Tuxedo carries all the latest styles of tuxedos, suits, and hundreds of accessories in stock in their stores, and they keep up with the latest styles and trends.

A local florist delivered some amazing florals for the shoot. I mean, check out this bountiful, beautiful bouquet:

We love the hot pink roses of the second bouquet, too:

Grace’s reception look is a sweet, soft, blush ballgown by Justin Alexander:

Single Barrel Events provided their professional, experienced, and friendly bartenders. And, every fun wedding reception needs a drink station! Their goal is to always provide superior service and leave your guests talking about what a great time they had.

Sequoyah Entertainment brought the party with their professional DJ Service. They also know exactly which song to play to slow dance to:

Chef Tony McClanahan from First Fruits Catering served up the loveliest pink and white wedding cake:

Plus, a delicious and swanky wedding buffet:

Campbell Party Rentals brought the perfect tables, chairs and pretty pink linens for the wedding:

Exquisite Limo turned up with a sweet, sweet ride for the bride and groom to make their getaway in:

Thanks Baymont Knoxville North I-75 for showing us how to throw a picture perfect hotel wedding:

We appreciate collaborating with the following amazing local wedding pros:

dress: The Gilded Gown

accessories: The Gilded Gown

tux: Regal Tuxedo

beauty: Benevolent Beauty

drinks: Single Barrel Events

food & cake: First Fruits Catering

tunes: Sequoyah Entertainment

venue: Baymont Knoxville North I-75

ride: Exquisite Limo

 

 

 

Unexpected and Unique Wedding Venues, Get Married Someplace Cool!

Looking for somewhere a little bit different for your special day? If you are recently engaged and planning your wedding one of the first things on your “to do list” is to find a venue. Nail down your locale and you will be well on your way to planning the rest! Of course you could go the ordinary route and hold the ceremony at your church, on a beach, in your backyard, in a barn, or even at a beautiful hotel. But if you want a place that is unexpected and unique to get married at, we have some fun ideas for you! You’ll have an experience of a lifetime, you’re guests will be talking about how fun your wedding was for years! And you’ll save money on decor since most of these locales offer enough scenery that you won’t need any additional decorations at all.

1> Take to the skies! How about trading “I Do’s” in a hot air balloon?

Exchange your wedding vows in a beautiful, romantic hot air balloon. You’ll share an experience of a lifetime and take your wedding ceremony to romantic heights! Hop in the basket at Rainbow Ryders hot air balloon company for amazing rides over the Phoenix – Scottsdale area with romantic views of the Sonoran Desert, or in Albuquerque with breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains.

International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque NM, photo by Sonya Cogan Photography

2> Go Deep. Tie the knot in a cave!

Spectacular Ruby Falls offers full cavern rentals to wedding paries in their waterfall room. The splendor of this underground scene reminds us of a cathedral.

3> Take the plunge. Join hands under the sea!

Take your honey and your wedding party down to the Florida Keys, whre Captain Slate of Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures will be happy to perform your ceremony underwater. He performed his first watery wedding way back in 1978 and achieved fame after an appearing in People Magazine.  The cost for this amazing venue? About $400 for Capt. Slate to perform the underwater service, file marriage license AND follow up. You can also charter a boat for your party of up to 40 snorkelers/passengers or 25 divers. Have the whole thing professionally documented by Emmy Award winning videographer Frazier Nivens.

Ewa Staronska and Pawel Burkowski had the largest underwater wedding on record in August 2011. The couple decided to hold their wedding at the bottom of a lake at the Koparki Diving Base, in Jaworzno, Poland. This bride and groom managed to persuade their 303 guests to join them under the sea for the festivities:

4> Hold tight. Seal the deal on a roller coaster!

Robert Scherzer & Sarah Petty took a wild ride and got married while riding a giant roller coaster at the Puyallup Fairgrounds at the Washington State Fair.

5> Go Green. Host your wedding at a golf course!

Fairways make for great wedding venues, and you don’t even need to be a golfer to enjoy them. If you are wondering, “Hey where are the best golf course wedding venues near me?” And you are wanting to get married near downtown Austin, TX ….check out the beautiful Avery Ranch Golf Club. Having an outdoor wedding there provides you and your guests with a scenic location in the lovely Texas Hill Country where you can enjoy the beauty of the landscape, Bushy Creek and their beautiful Infinity Pool. It’s a great place to enjoy those eye-catching Texas sunsets, too. Plus Avery Ranch has everything you’ll need to make the event an easy and noteworthy experience.

FTo help your wedding day go smoothly, the venue features an excellent, full-time catering staff. Alcohol and music are available for your enjoyment. There is also a private bridal dressing room for you and your wedding party. Your photographer will have no trouble finding spectacular spots to take your wedding pictures, both indoors and outdoors, that will provide you and your family with memories of your special day for years to come! The Avery Ranch Golf Club is available everyday all year around and features all-inclusive wedding packages. Contact them to find out about your many options for the wedding of your dreams!

 

HONEYMOON: Folly Beach #IslandVacay #theedgeofamerica


Looking for an island vacation on the US mainland for your upcoming honeymoon? Consider visiting funky-cool Folly Beach, SC, a quirky island located just 15 minutes from Charleston. This beautiful barrier island has a small town vibe with a sun-drenched, salt-in-your hair, flip-flop casualness. A place where the stunning natural beauty of the Atlantic Ocean combines with coastal Carolina charm. Where the living is easy, the surf is up and the fish are always biting. Where dolphins frolic and bald eagles soar, where million dollar beachfront mansions nestle next door to vintage beach shacks. Where a cast of interesting characters saunter down the one main street in town, Center Street. Where there is only one high rise hotel and the restaurants are locally owned and operated. A place free of billboards and office towers, but full of local dives and sandy beaches. Visit Folly once and you’ll be hooked. It will stay with you. During cold winter months you’ll think back to that perfect beach vacay you and your honey had: walking in the sand, grabbing a meal at Taco Boy, falling even more in love, soaking in that sunshine, and you will start making plans to return. Soon.

Locals have a rule they live by, “Relax..Slow Down.” Folly Beach, known as The Edge of America, is truly one of the most relaxing places on Earth. A place where you can escape the ordinary alongside a diverse culture of free-spirited people like the artists, skaters, musicians, surfers, and others who come to the island to live a laid back lifestyle. So this is a place where kicking back and chilling are a way of life. It is easy to join in, put your toes in the sand and take things nice and slow when you visit this eclectic, bohemian, small town.

All of the beaches on the island are next-level, but definitely check out the Folly Beach County Park, on the west end. This slice of paradise boasts 2,500 feet of ocean frontage and if you get there when it’s not busy you’ll feel like you are on your own private island. They offer picnic areas, and you can rent boogie boards, bikes and umbrellas.

Surfing is big on Folly and it is a major influence on the island culture. Folly, with the best waves on the East Coast, is the surfing mecca of South Carolina. Surfers can be found early in the morning riding the epic waves at The Washout or the Folly Beach Pier.

Local establishments predominate on the island, which makes visiting here so unique. You won’t be eating at Pizza Hut and shopping at Krogers on Folly. One of our favorite stops is Bert’s Market. This crazy cool shop is open 24/7 and serves food, snacks, surfboard wax, and grocery items to surfers, skaters, tourists, hipsters and locals alike. They have the best key lime pie in the entire world for $5.99 a slice, too. Spend some time hanging at Bert’s and you will be sure to people from all walks of life. One thing that unites the diverse types of people, though, will be their happy faces and awesome attitudes. This is a place where it is easy to be stress-free.

When it comes time to eat, you’ll want to be doing that in your new favorite restaurant: Taco Boy.  Their motto is “Skip Siesta, Let’s Fiesta,” and their delicious food is made fresh from mostly locally and regionally sourced products. We suggest you start with an Appetizer Trio which includes. Jalapeño tomato salsa, chile con queso & guacamole. Oh, and you’ll also be needing a Michelada: your favorite Mexican beer, served with house-made Sangrita-mix over ice with a salted rim. Don’t worry if you want to try everything on the menu, you’ll be back, you’ve got time.

You will also want to visit the Lost Dog Cafe, a place where locals and tourist meet and mingle. This casual beach cafe serves killer breakfast all day like huge burritos and bagel sandwiches along with extra good coffee.

You’ll need to visit the Folly Beach Pier, one of the longest piers on the east coast during the day AND in the evening. It’s a wonderful place to experience the ocean breezes, watch for dolphins, stroll around and just take in the spectacular views of the “Edge of America.” Officially named the “Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier,” this structure offers some of the best saltwater fishing in the area. The pier is a breathtaking landmark that stretches 1,045 feet into the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are so many neat places to stay on Folly. Check VRBO and AirBnB for all types of rentals. The only beachfront hotel is Tides, a wonderful and chic place to stay, where it doesn’t matter if you “want to grab a surfboard and hang ten, or grab a cocktail and hang out.”

Folly Island offers something for everyone. You can be a beach bum, take a day trip into nearby Charleston, or be adventurous. You can kayak around Folly Beach and James Island, jet ski, parasail or ride a bicycle along Folly’s six miles of beachfront. Or you can rent a golf cart and just drive around at your leisure. Whatever you choose to do on your honeymoon, it will be an unforgettable experience on this little slice of heaven!
Check out Visit Folly for more info. Also read Travel & Leisure’s Folly Beach Travel Guide.